U.S. Stirs a Hornet's Nest in Pakistan (Eric Margolis in Winnipeg Sun/ICH)

De militaire acties van de VS en Pakistan tegen de ‘Taliban’ in het NW grensgebied met Afghanistan zullen leiden tot groter verzet onder de 40 mln Pashtuni aan beide zijden van de grens. Het grote gevaar is dat deze zich willen afscheiden, dat Pakistaanse militairen zich tegen de regering keren, en zelfs dat een volksopstand uitbreekt onder de arme bevolking van het land.

U.S. Stirs a Hornet’s Nest in Pakistan (Eric Margolis in Winnipeg Sun/ICH)>

As in Iraq, profound ignorance and gung ho military arrogance drive U.S. Afghan policy. Obama’s people have no understanding what they are getting into in "AfPak." I can tell them: An unholy mess we will long regret.

Pakistan finally bowed to Washington’s angry demands last week by unleashing its military against rebellious Pashtun tribesmen of North-West Frontier Province (NWFP) — collectively mislabelled "Taliban" in the West.

The Obama administration had threatened to stop $2 billion US annual cash payments to bankrupt Pakistan’s political and military leadership and block $6.5 billion future aid, unless Islamabad sent its soldiers into Pakistan’s turbulent NWFP along the Afghan frontier.

The result was a bloodbath: Some 1,000 "terrorists" killed (read: mostly civilians) and 1.2 million people — most of Swat’s population — made refugees.

Pakistan’s U.S.-rented armed forces have scored a brilliant victory against their own people. Too bad they don’t do as well in wars against India. Blasting civilians, however, is much safer and more profitable.

Unable to pacify Afghanistan’s Pashtun tribes (a.k.a. Taliban), a deeply frustrated Washington has begun tearing Pakistan apart in an effort to end Pashtun resistance in both nations. CIA drone aircraft have so far killed over 700 Pakistani Pashtun. Only 6% were militants, according to Pakistan’s media, the rest civilians.

Pashtun, also improperly called Pathan, are the world’s largest tribal people. Fifteen million live in Afghanistan, forming half its population. Twenty-six million live right across the border in Pakistan. Britain’s imperialists divided Pashtun by an artificial border, the Durand Line (today’s Afghan-Pakistan border). Pashtun reject it.

Many Pashtun tribes agreed to join Pakistan in 1947, provided much of their homeland be autonomous and free of government troops. Pashtun Swat only joined Pakistan in 1969.

As Pakistan’s Pashtun increasingly aided Pashtun resistance in Afghanistan, U.S. drones began attacking them. Washington forced Islamabad to violate its own constitution by sending troops into Pashtun lands. The result was the current explosion of Pashtun anger….

Now, Washington’s ham-handed policies and last week’s Swat atrocity threaten to ignite Pakistan’s second worst nightmare after invasion by India: That its 26 million Pashtun will secede and join Afghanistan’s Pashtun to form an independent Pashtun state, Pashtunistan.

This would rend Pakistan asunder, probably provoke its restive Baluchi tribes to secede and tempt mighty India to intervene militarily, risking nuclear war with beleaguered Pakistan.

The Pashtun of NWFP have no intention or capability of moving into Pakistan’s other provinces, Punjab, Sindh and Baluchistan. They just want to be left alone. Alarms of a "Taliban takeover of Pakistan" are pure propaganda.

Lowland Pakistanis repeatedly have rejected militant Islamic parties. Many have little love for Pashtun, whom they regard as mountain wild men best avoided.

Nor are Pakistan’s well-guarded nukes a danger — at least not yet. Alarms about Pakistan’s nukes come from the same fabricators with hidden agendas who brought us Saddam Hussein’s bogus weapons.

THE REAL DANGER

The real danger is in the U.S. acting like an enraged mastodon, trampling Pakistan under foot, and forcing Islamabad’s military to make war on its own people. Pakistan could end up like U.S.-occupied Iraq, split into three parts and helpless.

If this continues, at some point patriotic Pakistani soldiers may rebel and shoot the corrupt generals and politicians on Washington’s payroll.

Equally ominous, a poor people’s uprising spreading across Pakistan — also mislabelled "Taliban" — threatens a radical national rebellion reminiscent of India’s Naxalite rebels.

As in Iraq, profound ignorance and gung ho military arrogance drive U.S. Afghan policy. Obama’s people have no understanding what they are getting into in "AfPak." I can tell them: An unholy mess we will long regret.

U.S. Stirs a Hornet’s Nest in Pakistan (Eric Margolis in Winnipeg Sun/ICH)

Will Pakistan Become Obama’s Vietnam? Kritiek op president Obama’s nieuwe ‘Af-Pak’ strategie blijft in de internationale madia groeien. In Nederland zag ik tot voor kort nog geen inhoudelijk commentaar op zijn aanpak die ook van groot belang is voor de NAVO – en dus ook ons eigen land. Wordt Pakistan Obama’s (en NAVO’s) ‘Vietnam’?
Hieronder enkele links naar kritische reacties.

Will Pakistan Become Obama’s Vietnam? (by Steve Weissman in Truthdig)

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